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VoiceThread - VoiceThread

Grades
K to 12
21 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own...more
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Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own comments and/or narration about the images/slides. Other listeners can "comment" back, as well. Access to the ed.voicethread site (as opposed to www.voicethread) is restricted to grades K-12 students, educators, and administrators. VoiceThread explains how to set up a classroom account and has some ideas for classroom use, as well. Ideas from the TeachersFirst Edge review team are listed below, under "In the classroom."

Voicethread also offers a free iOS app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It is free through the iTunes app store. Projects work seamlessly on both computer and mobile iOS devices, so projects started on one machine can be edited and/or viewed on another. Your ed.Voicethread account works in both places.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (180), digital storytelling (153), speech (89)

In the Classroom

You will be logged into your account immediately after you fill in the registration form. You must "apply" to designate your account as an educator account once it is set up. Click on "browse" to see many examples, including tutorials. Watch the "One Minute Voicethread" to get a very quick overview of how easy it is to create a digital story. Set up student identities. Use first names only. You need to know how to locate and upload saved pictures or PowerPoint files. If you want to use audio, the COOL tool, you WILL need a microphone, either plugged into your computer or built in. Once you create a Voicethread, it can be shared by clicking "share" from the menu or at the end of viewing it and copying the URL to send via email or other means, inviting others to comment back. Ed voicethreads have comment moderation turned on by default and are private by default. As the teacher, you can change these settings.

Invite parents to share in the results (The VoiceThread classroom page tells you more about this). TeachersFirst does not recommend using actual, identifiable pictures of children. Let them draw a picture or take a digital picture of an object that somehow represents them (middle schoolers will love that idea!). If you allow others to "comment" on student Voicethreads, the experience can be both wonderful and a bit intimidating. Use this opportunity to promote ethical and kind interaction with other students and their projects.

Of course, you should be sure that you have the RIGHTS to any images you upload. Fair Use does not apply when you put an image on the web! Elementary classes can create or take pictures, then ask each child to talk about the images. Each child can comment on the SAME pictures, creating a collaborative collection of responses. After a field trip or special class event, you can assign groups of students to explain each of the digital pictures you took and how they relate to curriculum topics. In art class, students can critique works of their own or of fellow students. In language arts classes, students can scan and comment on writing pieces as part of a reflective phase of the writing process. Or post an image as a prewriting activity and allow students to respond orally in an idea-generating phase. In social studies, have students provide a picture of a grandparent then narrate what they learned about that grandparent from interviewing him/her. Have students create narrated pictures as gifts (for parents or other care givers) for special occasions, winter holidays, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.. During a science experiment or demo, have a student take pictures of the steps. Then ask students to "narrate" them by commenting on what is happening. The narration assignment could even be a center activity or an assignment on a few classroom computers for students to rotate through. What a great way to review and apply key vocabulary! Be sure they identify their voices if you are using a single class account and want to be able to assess understanding. Other ideas: narrated local history projects (pictures of local sites), audio "museum tours" of artifacts (photos) or war veterans telling their stories along with images of their uniforms or old photos. Speech/language, ESL/ELL or early childhood teachers could use this tool to promote vocabulary development and oral expression.

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Listen a Minute - Sean Banville

Grades
5 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Find one minute listening exercises on such common activities as babysitting, chickens, and exercise. The listening selections are alphabetized with several selections for each letter...more
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Find one minute listening exercises on such common activities as babysitting, chickens, and exercise. The listening selections are alphabetized with several selections for each letter of the alphabet. Each listening selection has a multitude of activities you can download (along with the reading text) in Word and pdf formats. Find Cloze paragraphs, fill in the blanks, words to unscramble, and much more. Many activities can also be viewed online. Each selection has two interactive quizzes. Though targeted for the ESL/ELL student, listening is one of the language arts standards, and this is a good way for any classroom teacher to address listening skills.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dance (27), listening (87), reading comprehension (123), vocabulary (321)

In the Classroom

Use the selections and activities with individual students as an assignment or independent practice on your classroom computer. The reading and activities are easy to work on independently because of the listening feature. Don't forget to provide headsets. Small groups of students can listen at one of several literacy stations in your classroom. Provide this link for the families of ESL/ELL students to read (or listen) to the selections together. Learning support teachers will also appreciate the option to provide audio and text together to improve student comprehension.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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New Year's Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources and activities appropriate for New Year's in this collection from TeachersFirst. ...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for New Year's in this collection from TeachersFirst.

tag(s): new years (11)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect New Years and related "new" celebrations to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons. Note that a new school year is also a good time for resolutions!

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Mothers' Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Find resources and activities appropriate for Mothers' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. The resources include many project ideas for elementary students. Some of the creative...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Mothers' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. The resources include many project ideas for elementary students. Some of the creative tools will lure even older students into writing and creating much=appreciated gifts.

tag(s): mothers day (12)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Mothers' Day to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons.

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Halloween/Fall Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Halloween or Fall Festivals in this collection from TeachersFirst. Most are appropriate for younger grades with a few ideas for secondary....more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Halloween or Fall Festivals in this collection from TeachersFirst. Most are appropriate for younger grades with a few ideas for secondary.

tag(s): halloween (38)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Halloween or Fall Festival to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons.

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TeachersFirst's Fathers' Day Resources - http://www.teachersfirst.com/holiday/fathers.cfm

Grades
K to 8
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Fathers' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. ...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Fathers' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst.

tag(s): fathers day (10)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Fathers' Day to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons.

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Cinco de Mayo Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Cinco de Mayo in this collection from TeachersFirst. ...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Cinco de Mayo in this collection from TeachersFirst.

tag(s): hispanic (17), holidays (142), mexico (33)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Cinco de Mayo to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons.

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Columbus Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Find resources and activities appropriate for Columbus Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. ...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Columbus Day in this collection from TeachersFirst.

tag(s): holidays (142)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Columbus Day to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons.

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Valentine's Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Find resources and activities appropriate for Valentine's Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. ...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Valentine's Day in this collection from TeachersFirst.

tag(s): valentines day (14)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Valentine's Day to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons.

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St. Patrick's Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Find resources and activities appropriate for St. Patrick's' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. ...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for St. Patrick's' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst.

tag(s): st patricks day (13)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect St. Patrick's Day to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons. Give new meaning to "going green"!

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Free English Lessons Online - esolcourses.com

Grades
2 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
At this site you will find free interactive listening activities, reading exercises, quizzes, and more. Though developed with the ESL/ELL teacher and student in mind, any language arts...more
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At this site you will find free interactive listening activities, reading exercises, quizzes, and more. Though developed with the ESL/ELL teacher and student in mind, any language arts teacher will find activities here to help differentiate language skills in your classroom. This is an extensive site with several levels in each language arts strand. Every strand and level also has numerous activities to choose from.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): grammar (213), listening (87), reading comprehension (123), vocabulary (321)

In the Classroom

You may want to complete some of the selections with a projector and your interactive whiteboard for the whole class as there are listening activities, reading activities and quizzes about holidays, etc. You could differentiate by having small groups of students or individuals listening and reading at their different levels while you work with another group, or small groups of students can listen at a station that is one of several literacy stations in your classroom. Since each of the selections has activities in several language arts strands, one selection could make up your student's instruction for the day, or week. Students could rotate through a station for listening, one for vocabulary development, etc.

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Viewbix - Qoof, Ltd.

Grades
6 to 12
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Create interactive videos from existing You Tube videos. The creations can be used on your site as well as other sites (driving traffic back to your site). Create a free ...more
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Create interactive videos from existing You Tube videos. The creations can be used on your site as well as other sites (driving traffic back to your site). Create a free account and then create a new interactive video. Watch the video demo for an example. Link the button on the tool to a page on your site. Add photos, pricing (just an option,) and/or descriptions. Note that this tool will not work if YouTube is blocked in your school.

tag(s): movies (70), video (278)

In the Classroom

Use custom videos to sell materials at school for your clubs or organizations. Drive people back to your site when students make creative projects on a curriculum topic and host them on YouTube.

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Road to Grammar - Road to Grammar

Grades
5 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site provides quizzes, interactives, and extra grammar help for older learners. Students can choose from over 300 grammar quizzes. Topics range from "Adjectives and Prepositions"...more
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This site provides quizzes, interactives, and extra grammar help for older learners. Students can choose from over 300 grammar quizzes. Topics range from "Adjectives and Prepositions" to "AM, IS, or ARE" to "Currencies of the World" to "Zero Infinitive" to hundreds of other topics! Whatever grammar topic you are learning about or teaching, chances are very good that it is here. Though originally meant for ESL/ELL learners, this site is appropriate for all learners. The site also includes downloadable resources for teacher and student use.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): grammar (213), grammar review (42), parts of speech (67), prefixes (16), sentences (50), suffixes (13), synonyms (37), verbs (39), writing (365)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard as a fun way to introduce students to different types of grammar. In addition, use this as a way to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of a particular grammar topic. Post this on your class webpage for students to use at home or use it in the lab or classroom when students finish an assignment early. Be sure to check out the downloads section. Provide students with the confusing words handout and have them paste it into their writing notebooks. They will never confuse affect and effect again.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Visual Recipes - Visual Recipes

Grades
3 to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
Teach students about foods, measurement, or nutrition, and find great recipes at Visual Recipes. View a picture of each step of the recipe as you read the directions. English language...more
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Teach students about foods, measurement, or nutrition, and find great recipes at Visual Recipes. View a picture of each step of the recipe as you read the directions. English language learners and new learners to foods will find this a great resource.

tag(s): cooking (31), nutrition (159), sequencing (29), visual thinking (9), visualizations (13)

In the Classroom

Choose recipes to create a menu that meets all of the requirements of the new USDA "MyPlate." Analyze a typical dish to look at calories and the breakdown of the nutrients. Be a food scientist, choosing recipes that are examples of different types of solutions (homogeneous and heterogeneous) or basic chemical reactions. Encourage healthy eating, ethnic exploration through foods, and many other topics with these easy to follow pictures and directions. World language teachers will love this visual approach to foods in another culture and can ask students to "narrate" a visual recipe in the new language while presenting on interactive whiteboard or projector. Use visual recipes to teach sequencing for writing about step by step process using words like "first, then, next." Challenge cooperative learning groups to make their own slideshow/recipe for a favorite dish of their choice using a site such as 280Slides (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Kathleen, VT, Grades: 0 - 12

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Podiobooks - Evo Terra, Tee Morris, and Chris Miller

Grades
6 to 12
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Podiobooks is an online library of audio books available for free download. There are categories for children and young adults, and several different genres. Click on the "Browse our...more
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Podiobooks is an online library of audio books available for free download. There are categories for children and young adults, and several different genres. Click on the "Browse our Titles" link to search for children's books. Many titles are classics and appropriate for middle school and teen readers. You can download to your computer, get an RSS feed, or download to an MP3 player. Options for listening include downloading one chapter at a time or getting the entire book. Authors donate their works to this site which also includes books already in the public domain, such as The Wizard of Oz. Some works are in the process of being recorded. Listeners have to wait for remaining chapters.

Without registering, you can download items manually. All you have to do is navigate to a book page, scroll down and click on the name of any episode. Play it on your computer or save it to your hard drive for later. Registering allows Podiobook to build a custom podcast feed just for you. They will customize each feed so that it is updated once a week. You can change that to once a month, or once a day if you need to. Be aware: the titles on the main page (at the time of this review) were not appropriate for elementary students. There is an option "Erotica" in the search options. So be sure to preview what you wish to share AND be certain that students know where they are allowed to search and the consequences for not following the rules. Adults may want to download for the students and offer the files offline. Joining and designing a "feed" of teacher-selected books avoids the complicated issue of monitoring content.

tag(s): audio books (28), literature (272)

In the Classroom

Teachers and parents need to supervise title selection or do the downloads themselves. Send students directly to the children's or young adult categories to ensure age appropriateness for your students. Find appropriate books for students to use at a listening learning center. Have an actual hard copy of the book; then use this site for your learning support students or weaker readers to help them build fluency, increase their vocabulary and pronunciation of new words. Provide this link ( maybe the link to just the children's section) on your class website for students (and families) to access out of the classroom.

Make a listening center or load the mp3 files on a set of iTouches for student listening. If you choose to register, an email address is required. Rather than using your personal email address (or professional), sign up for a gmail account (FREE).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ArtsEdge - Kennedy Center

Grades
K to 12
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This site, created by the Kennedy Center offers a wealth of interactive lesson plans for grades K-12 dealing with a variety of topics, all with an "arts" spin. Search by ...more
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This site, created by the Kennedy Center offers a wealth of interactive lesson plans for grades K-12 dealing with a variety of topics, all with an "arts" spin. Search by subject, keyword, or grade level (K-4, 5-8, or 9-12). Some examples of topics include Native Americans, Civil War, Shakespeare, myths, melodrama, adjectives, baseball, and countless others! There are many interactive lessons: some with video, audio, or slideshows. The lessons provide an estimate of time required and complete, step-by-step instructions. There are printables included with some of the lessons.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): african american (109), baseball (36), civil war (144), comics and cartoons (65), dance (27), folktales (55), greece (27), habitats (106), immigration (60), literature (272), mexico (33), musical instruments (51), myths and legends (26), native americans (78), painting (66), surrealism (2)

In the Classroom

Search this site for a topic that you are teaching in your class. Share the lesson on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Better yet, make the video or slideshow a learning station for students to do themselves in small groups.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Harvard Writing Center - Harvard Writing Center

Grades
7 to 12
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The Harvard Writing Center is a collection of online "handouts" that you may download and print. This series provides ready-made one page resources on topics that range from How to...more
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The Harvard Writing Center is a collection of online "handouts" that you may download and print. This series provides ready-made one page resources on topics that range from How to Read an Assignment, Outlining, Developing a Thesis, and many others including revising, editing, and Tips on Grammar, Punctuation, and Style. The information cuts right to the chase, and provides examples that demonstrate the explanations and enhance understanding.

tag(s): expository writing (43), grammar (213), punctuation (43), writing (365)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites and provide a link on your class web page to give students access to review and consult expert advice any time it is needed for drafting, revising, and editing essays and other writing assignments. You will want to project a few of the handouts on your classroom whiteboard or projector to make students aware of the offerings, how easy they are to access, and how useful they are to use as a reference. You may even want to print a class set of particular handouts. Be sure to list this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own online "resource" posters dealing with a topic you are studying. Have students create a simple online posters using PicLits (reviewed here).

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Phrasemix - Aaron Knight

Grades
3 to 12
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This blog teaches English to international students by offering a "phrase a day." Common words and phrases are explained in context; several examples of each usage make the meaning...more
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This blog teaches English to international students by offering a "phrase a day." Common words and phrases are explained in context; several examples of each usage make the meaning clear. Many of the situations described are those experienced by adults or older teens, not children, such as giving a speech or shopping alone. Of course, this site could also be used in a regular classroom to teach speech/language or grammar. Students can look at the site or have a phrase emailed to them every day. Phrases include commonly used groups of words, idioms, and other typical language of both casual and formal English. To find a list of all phrases in the system, students can click on "Learning Tools." In addition to an index, this section offers explanations of basic grammar terms like parts of speech, stress, and other conversation techniques. Students can also make comments and read the comments of others. No email address is required to comment on the blog posts. (Our reviewers found no objectionable comments from the public, but teachers should always preview.)

tag(s): idioms (45), phrases (6), slang (15)

In the Classroom

Put this link on your classroom blog or newsletter for English learners. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. Have students prepare online projects about phrases they learn, using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard reviewed here or PicLits (reviewed here). Check with your school policies before having students comment on other blog posts.

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What's Your Reading History - NY Times

Grades
6 to 12
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This lesson plan assists students to reflect on what kind of reader they are by going through their own reading histories until they find one that shaped the kind of ...more
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This lesson plan assists students to reflect on what kind of reader they are by going through their own reading histories until they find one that shaped the kind of readers and persons they are today. Students close their eyes and listen to a guided journey through their reading pasts; they then respond to it in a journal. Options include reading the words of a published author who realized she was illiterate and discussing or writing about what she said. A teacher's pdf is included to help students format their writings. McREL standards are included (for grades 6-12).

tag(s): independent reading (128)

In the Classroom

Use this activity both at the beginning and ending of a school year to impress upon the students the importance reading plays in their self-concepts. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce the idea of regular journal keeping. After students complete their writing segment, have them do a media project that reflects their reading "identities."

Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits reviewed here. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here). Share the results of their writing and posters at open house nights or --even better- embedded in your class wiki or web page. Ask students to find what other celebrities and authors say about how reading has influenced their lives. Collect quotes from famous people about writers and list them on posters in your classroom.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Extreme Science - Geology - Extreme Science

Grades
6 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
This webpage is a sub-page to the Extreme Science website. The site is well written and provides readable science information for students and teachers alike. There are convenient...more
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This webpage is a sub-page to the Extreme Science website. The site is well written and provides readable science information for students and teachers alike. There are convenient hotlinks to specific, auxiliary information right in the reading. Accompanying diagrams help in understanding the written entries. This site does include some advertisements.

tag(s): continents (51), earth (224), geology (81), plate tectonics (22)

In the Classroom

This site would be a valuable resource in a paperless science classroom. Information is reminiscent of textbook style writing with the convenience of informational hotlinks. Use as an alternative to the textbook. Have students use the information to research and create multimedia presentations. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Adobe Spark, reviewed here, or PicLits (reviewed here. Reading teachers will also find these passages useful for practice with finding main idea and summarizing informational texts. Share them on interactive whiteboard for students to highlight key words and compose a main idea sentence.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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